Using Texts to Stop No Show Appointments & Missed Meetings
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Nov 03, 2022

How to Reduce No Show Appointments with Texts + No Show Appointment Text Templates

Every customer, client, or patient that no shows wastes time, hurts revenue, and affects your bottom line.

But text messages are one of the best ways to reduce no show appointments and missed meetings. In fact, some 67% of people prefer text message reminders over email and voice.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  1. Why text message reminders and confirmations work
  2. Why people no-show and miss appointments and meetings
  3. The effects of no-show appointments and missed meetings on your bottom line
  4. How to reduce no-shows and missed appointments with text messages
  5. Additional ways to reduce no-shows and missed appointments
  6. What to include in a meeting or appointment reminder text
  7. No show appointment text message templates

By the end, you’ll know how to use SMS text messaging to reduce missed appointments, meetings, and no shows.

Keep reading for more.

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Why Text Message Reminders and Confirmations Work

Text message reminders and confirmations are one of the most effective uses for business text messaging.

Texting is also what contacts, customers, clients, and patients want. But some 60% of businesses and organizations still play phone tag.

Texts are convenient and fast. This is where texts have some clear advantages over voice and email, including:

  • Texting is more immediate - texts have up to a 98% open rate.
  • Texting allows for more convenient two-way conversations.
  • Texting allows you to spend less time on the phone and results in money savings.
  • You can schedule text message broadcasts in advance.
  • You can automate text messages to send based on keywords and other triggers.

Why People No Show and Miss Appointments and Meetings

A recent survey asked why patients no show for appointments. 53% of respondents said they forgot to attend or cancel their appointment. 28% said this was because they wrote down the wrong date or time, and 24% blamed traffic or work.

You can’t control traffic or work conflicts. However, you can do something about the 81% of missed appointments that happen because of forgetfulness or miscommunication.

In another report, 38% of people said a text message reminder would have helped them.

The Effects of No-Show Appointments and Missed Meetings on Your Bottom Line

The effects of no-show appointments are clear when it comes to efficiency and productivity. But they also affect your revenue too. To see how you just need to do some quick math.

Let’s say you’re a sales team texting customers to set up meetings. Take your average number of monthly appointments and multiply it by your average revenue per appointment.

Then multiply that number by your missed meeting rate. What you’ll get is the dollar amount of missed revenue per month from each no-show.

Example: 100 (meetings per month) x $100.00 (average revenue per meeting) x .10 (1 in 10 average no-show rate) = $1000.00 lost monthly revenue

At the above rates, you’re missing out on $12,000.00 of revenue per year.

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How to Reduce No-Shows and Missed Appointments with Text Messages

So what’s the best way to reduce appointment no shows with text messages?

You’ll need a proper text reminder app. Texting as a business or organization isn’t like texting from your personal phone for work.

Some businesses and organizations allow staff and employees to send appointment and meeting reminders from their personal mobile phones. But there are major drawbacks and liabilities with this.

One drawback is that there’s no way for a team to keep track of text conversations on their personal phones. No one else in your organization can see who has and hasn’t received confirmation and reminder text messages.

So here’s how to prevent no show appointments and missed meetings with a text reminder service, software, or app.

1. Choose a text reminder service, software, or app

You’ve got options when choosing a business text messaging service to reduce no shows.

But the two major features you’ll need are a shared team SMS inbox and broadcast text messages.

Shared team SMS inboxes make it possible to send and receive one-way and two-way text messages as a team.

When someone texts your business phone number, you can automatically assign and route the conversation to a teammate. You can even add comments that mention a colleague directly in the conversation thread.

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Additionally, you’ll need an SMS reminder service that makes it easy to send text message broadcasts. This feature allows you to schedule reminder text messages in bulk.

MessageDesk offers both of the above features and more including:

  • Separate text-enabled 10-digit local or toll-free 800 SMS phone numbers
  • A shared team SMS inbox for assigning and routing conversations
  • Text message broadcasts for sending mass text messages
  • Text message templates and tags to personalize text messages
  • Support for MMS picture messaging
  • Scheduled texts and automation for scaling messaging
  • Text message signatures so people know who you are
  • Automatic out-of-office messages to let people know you’re away
  • Support for high-volume carrier-verified A2P 10DLC text messaging
  • Built-in opt-out and opt-in tools for TCPA compliance
MessageDesk Team Inbox

2. Create a free account

The next step is to create a free account. You can do this with MessageDesk by starting a 14-day free trial.

You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a quick chat or to request a demo.

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3. Set up your SMS phone number to send reminder texts

Next, you need to get a business text number or text-enable your existing business number.

Many business texting platforms and text message reminder services allow you to text from a variety of SMS phone number types. You can even text-enable phone number extensions.

For businesses and organizations, your number options often include 10-digit local phone numbers and toll-free numbers.

A local area code with a ten-digit number is often the best option for sending text message reminders. These numbers look familiar, so people won’t disregard your reminder messages as spam.

You can also text-enable your business landline or an existing office phone through number porting. This allows you to keep your current voice provider and send and receive texts on your main business line.

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3. Set up call forwarding

If you text appointment reminders, what happens if the recipient tries to call your 10-digit text messaging number? You’ll want to make sure their call gets forwarded to an active phone line.

All you have to do to set up call forwarding is input your business phone number. An appointment reminder text app like MessageDesk will take care of the rest.

This keeps you from missing inbound phone calls from people who need to reschedule or cancel a scheduled appointment.

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4. Advertise your SMS phone number

Advertising your SMS phone number encourages people to text you and can decrease no show appointments.

It's easy to let people know you’re textable. Just add a click-to-text button on your website or a landing page.

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Other options include advertising your SMS phone number on social media, billboards, physical signage, and vehicles.

Text reminder apps like MessageDesk also come with embeddable forms and a text message chatbot. Both features allow you to start text conversations from your website.

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5. Pre-save reminder texts as templates with personalization tags

Time savings start with templates. These are great when you or your staff have to send the same reminder messages over and over again.

Text reminder apps (like MessageDesk) allow you to personalize text messages and save text messages as templates. Templates can include emojis, images, media, and even personalization tags.

Personalization tags like {{ FirstName }} automatically insert contact details like name, email, and other info into a text message. You can even add a text message signature to all of your texts.

You can also use custom fields to save other relevant info like account number, last appointment date, time, and more.

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6. Include calls to action and links to scheduling software in your reminder and confirmation text messages

Next, you’ll want to add calls to action and links to your reminder and confirmation texts.

The best way to include a call to action is with a link in a text message. Your CTAs should make it clear to people how to confirm an appointment by text message, cancel, and reschedule.

One of the best ways to do this is by sending a link to a meeting scheduling software. You can also use Zapier to integrate apps like Calendly and Google Calendar with your business texting software.

There are three ways you can use Zapier with MessageDesk to trigger events, automate your reminder messages, and more.

Add or update a contact

Whenever a new contact requests an appointment, you can sync their contact info with MessageDesk.

Add contact to a group

You can also add outside contacts to groups in MessageDesk as well.

Send a message

Trigger a text message to be sent when an action happens in another app. You can automatically send a message to a customer any number of days before an event and much more.

Google Calendar:

Calendly:

SimplyBook.me:

Housecall Pro:

Acuity Scheduling:

MeetFox:

7. Automate text reminder sequences with keyword autoresponders

A recent study showed that automated appointment reminders helped avoid no show appointments by 41%.

You can always send out one-on-one text message reminders as a way to people.

But text reminder services like MessageDesk also help you text at scale with automated text messages to handle no show appointments.

You can even chain reminder and confirmation text messages together with keyword-based text message autoresponders.

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8. Set office hours for out-of-office and away messages

Finally, you’ll want to set up out-of-office text messages to let people know when you’re away.

Business texting services like MessageDesk allow you to customize your availability. When someone texts your business number while you’re away, they’ll get an autoresponse text back.

This autoresponse can help you set response time expectations. You can also give people alternative ways to reach you in case of an emergency or urgent matter.

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Try Our Text Reminder Service for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️

Additional Ways to Reduce No-shows

SMS text messages are clearly a great way to reduce no-shows and missed appointments.

But here are some additional ways to reduce missed meetings and no shows.

1. Create a no-show appointment policy

You’ll want to make your no-show and appointment cancellation policies clear before you text your contacts, customers, or patients.

A no-show policy tells people what happens if they miss an appointment with you. Some organizations even charge a fee for every missed or canceled appointment that occurs within a certain timeframe.

As a best practice, consider including a link to your cancelation policy in your reminder and confirmation text messages. You can save this as part of your templated reminder messages.

2. Send email appointment reminders to reduce no-shows

Email reminders are nearly free and almost everyone has an email address. It’s the most widely adopted communication method on the planet.

Just keep in that email comes with some drawbacks, especially with open rates and immediate communication. We’re talking as low as 20%.

Now, couple those facts with the reality that only 27% of sent emails get opened within 2 hours. That’s 27% of the already 20% of emails that get opened at all.

And because email is free and everyone uses it, email inboxes are overflowing. So the chances of your reminder getting read can be low.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t send email reminders to reduce no shows. They’re simple to automate and they make it easy to reach a lot of people.

3. Call and leave voicemail reminders to reduce no shows

Phone calls and voicemail are another tried and true method of reducing no show appointments.

There will always be a place for phone calls. They work well for immediate engagement. Plus, doing manual outreach can add a personal touch to your client or patient engagement experience

But phone calls aren’t as scalable as text messages or emails.

Manually calling individual people to reduce no shows takes a lot of time. It’s why phone calls don’t scale as you increase your appointment volume.

Plus, calls just aren’t as effective at reaching people compared to text messaging. Only 1 in 4 people listen to their voicemails.

4. Hand out physical appointment reminder cards to reduce no shows

Appointment reminder cards can be effective. 52% of medical practices with a client no-show rate over 10% use physical reminder cards.

But appointment reminder cards also come with some drawbacks:

  • It’s easy for people to lose or forget an appointment reminder card.
  • Appointment reminder cards aren’t eye-catching.
  • Appointment reminder cards don’t actively remind someone of their appointment.
  • There’s no way to track or measure the effectiveness of appointment reminder cards.

These limitations are significant. Especially when you consider the cost of printing and producing these physical cards.

Standard reminder cards can range in price from roughly $70 to $100 for 500 cards.

Price will depend on the supplier or printer. But prices can go up or down based on volume, colors, and card personalization.

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What to Include in a Meeting or Appointment Reminder Text

  • Introduce yourself. Your recipient may not have your number saved on their phone. Identify yourself upfront or use a text message signature at the end of your reminder text message or confirmation text.
  • Send a personalized text message with templates. These customizable fields help your pre-drafted messages feel more personalized. You can include the recipient’s first name and any other information unique to them.
  • Include any relevant details to the appointment. Of course, there’s the date and time of the appointment to include. But don’t forget any other important details, such as paperwork to bring or any COVID-19 requirements patients must follow.
  • Remind people of your no-show policy. Whether it’s an appointment confirmation or reminder, be upfront with people about your rescheduling and cancellation policies. They’ll be more likely to cancel or reschedule sooner if they know there is a fee involved.
  • Include a clear call to action (CTA). Your recipient should clearly understand if there is any action they need to take. Do they need to respond “Yes” or “No”? Do they need to text you a picture beforehand? Whatever you need, make sure it’s stated in your text.
  • Give people the option to opt-out. Your recipient may have previously chosen to opt-in to text messages from your business or organization. But per TCPA guidelines they should always have the option to opt. Simple language like “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” at the end of your text message solves this.

No Show Appointment Message Templates

Need help nailing the wording for no show appointments? I’ve added a list of text reminders and missed appointment text templates below.

Feel free to copy, paste and edit these if you don’t know what to say to no show clients. You’re also free to check out my comprehensive list of 60+ text message templates for more.

General appointment reminder templates

Hi {{ FirstName }}, this is {{ OrganizationName }} confirming you have an appointment on [ Date ] [ Time ]. Thanks for scheduling your appointment with us, and if you have any questions, reply to this message. We’ll see you then! - {{ OrganizationName }}
Hey {{ FirstName }}, just a heads up about your scheduled appointment for tomorrow at 2 pm. See you then! - {{ OrganizationName }}
Hi {{ FirstName }}. We’re sorry to see you missed your appointment today and hope everything is well. If you’d like to reschedule, please reply to this message or call us at (775) 313-9465.

No-show appointment text template

Hello {{ FirstName }} looks like we missed you today. Please text back RESCHEDULE to get on our calendar again.

Reminders to schedule an appointment

It’s already been a year since your last checkup. Call 775-313-9465 to schedule your annual check-up.

Missed appointment text message sample

Hi {{ FirstName }}. We’re sorry to see you missed your appointment today and hope everything is well. If you’d like to reschedule, please reply to this message or call us at {{ OrganizationPhone }}.

Insurance appointment reminder text template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, it’s [My First Name] from {{ OrganizationName }}. Just a friendly appointment reminder for today at [ Time ]. Please be sure to fill out the paperwork I emailed you prior to our meeting. Thanks!

See more insurance text message examples and templates.

Finance appointment reminder template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, just reminding you that you have a portfolio review with {{ Name }} on [ Time ] [ Date ] at our offices a {{ Address }}. If you can't make it, please notify us within 24 hours.

Check out more on finance SMS for banks, financial services, advisors, and lenders.

Real estate appointment reminder text template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. I’m [ Person ] from {{ OrganizationName }} and we’re excited to show you the listing on [ Time ] [ Date ]. Please text this number if you have any questions. Thanks.

See the real estate texting guide and free real estate SMS templates for more.

Sales team meeting reminder template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, just wanted to remind you and say that I’m looking forward to our phone call today. See you then. - {{ SalesPersonName }}, {{ OrganizationName }}

Invitation reminder to meet sales template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is {{ SalesPersonName }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. Are you free for a quick meeting or phone call? Let me know if you are. You’re also free to put me on your calendar by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/1OmE4Zq

Check out sales text message examples and how to text leads and prospects.

Medical appointment text message sample

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is a friendly reminder of your upcoming appointment with [ Doctor’s Name ] on [ Date ] [ Time ]. Need to reschedule your appointment or cancel? To avoid no-show fees, please call this number or reply to this text by [ Date ] [ Time ].

Medical appointment confirmation text message template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, thanks for booking an appointment with Dr. [ Name’s ] office. Please text CONFIRM to confirm your appointment for [ Date ] [ Time ].

Medical appointment no-show text template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, our records indicate that you missed your appointment with our office on [ Date ] [ Time ]. For future patient cancelations please contact us in advance. Text RESCHEDULE to schedule a new appointment time.

Dental practice appointment reminder

{{ FirstName }}, your dental appointment is today at [ Date ] [ Time ]. We look forward to seeing you at our dental offices. Reply STOP to opt-out of all text messages.

Check out text messaging for medical and dental offices.

No show dentist appointment text template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. Since you missed your appointment on [ Date ] [ Time ] we need to reschedule you. Please call or text us at this number to reschedule your next cleaning.

Veterinary appointment reminder text message template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is a reminder of [Customer Field 1]’s yearly checkup on APPOINTMENT DATE AND TIME. Need to cancel or reschedule? Call this phone number or reply to this text message within TIME FRAME. Please be aware that we do charge no-show fees. Thanks!

Veterinary appointment confirmation text template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. This is  {{ OrganizationName }} confirming [Custom Field 1]’s appointment at [ Date ] [ Time ]. Does that time still work for you?

See more about veterinary text messaging and additional text templates.

Hair appointment text reminder template

Hi {{ FirstName }}! It’s {{ OrganizationName }} reminding you of your appointment this [ Date ] [ Time ]. Need to cancel or reschedule? Replying RESCHEDULE to this text message by [ Date ] [ Time ] to avoid charges. Thanks!

Hair appointment confirmation text

Hi {{ FirstName }}, this is [My First Name] from {{ OrganizationName }}. This is a confirmation that we received your request for [ Service ] on [ Date ] [ Time ]. We look forward to seeing you then! Please call or text us at this number if you need to cancel or reschedule to avoid our late fee.

No show hair appointment text template

Hey {{ FirstName }}, I had you scheduled for [ Date ] [ Time ] to do a [ Service ]. Just wanted to let you know that additional cancelations will incur no-show fees. Please give me at least an hour’s notice if you do plan on canceling in the future.

No show fee template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, looks like we missed you for your appointment on [ Date ] [ Time ]. Please remember that additional missed appointments may incur no-show fees. Your credit card on file will automatically be billed. Please respond to text or call our office with any questions.

Lawn service appointment reminder

Friendly reminder that the crew from Kyle’s Lawn Service will be at your house tomorrow at {{Time}} for your weekly lawn care. Please secure pets to keep our crew safe. Reply 1 to Confirm.

Window installation service reminder

This is a reminder about your window installation on [ Date ] [ Time ]. Our team will need full access to the backyard to complete the installation. Reply 1 to Confirm or call 555-555-5555 to reschedule.

House cleaning reminder

Hi there! Just a friendly reminder about your house cleaning tomorrow at [ Date ] [ Time ]. Don’t forget to leave a key in the lockbox. Text us to reschedule!

Try Our Text Reminder Service for Free

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Final thoughts and next steps

Ready to start texting? MessageDesk is here to help with smarter, simpler ways to send automated appointment reminders and missed appointment messages.

If you’re ready, consider starting a free MessageDesk trial. You’re also free to schedule a demo and meet with one of our messaging experts.

We’re here to help you improve your messaging and find success.